Kenny Schaaf of Brandon had a 20-year career in law enforcement until he retired in March of 2016. At that point, he began his new career as a mortgage originator and recently became involved with the Hometown Heroes Program.
“The Florida Hometown Heroes Program is a new program through the Florida Housing Corporation that launched June 1, 2022,” Schaaf said. “The program is for first-time homebuyers within 50 occupations, including law enforcement officers, corrections officers, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, teachers, medical personnel, active-duty military members and veterans.”
This program provides down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time, income-qualified homebuyers so they can purchase a primary residence in the community in which they work and serve. The Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program also offers a lower first mortgage rate and additional special benefits to those who have served or continue to serve their country.
“Since the program just launched at the start of the month and it takes time to get through the underwriting and approval process, we have not yet closed any of these loans,” Schaaf said. “I do, however, already have three local heroes in process with multiple other heroes that have been prequalified for the program.”
Schaaf loves being able to help first responders and veterans get into their first home.
“I spent nearly 20 years as a deputy sheriff and another seven years of public safety employment as a firefighter, an EMT and a 911 dispatcher when I lived in Kentucky,” Schaaf said. “With my past work history, I understand the needs of these borrowers, their schedules and their concerns, and I want to provide them with the help and guidance they deserve.”
Schaaf has high hopes for the Hometown Heroes Program and looks forward to it growing.
“I hope funding continues for the program year after year so we can continuously help our local and national heroes obtain the American dream of homeownership,” Schaaf said. “Most of these heroes are living their lives every day just like the rest of us, and most of the community is unaware of what a lot of these heroes go through in their jobs. Providing affordable housing is a great way to help them. I just want our heroes to know that their sacrifices don’t go unnoticed, and we appreciate each and every one of them.”
If you would like to learn more about the Hometown Heroes Program, you can visit its website at www.floridahousing.org/programs/homebuyer-overview-page/hometown-heroes or call Schaaf at 813-473-8024.